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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Wanted to see something of the South of France & sample some of the wines. We have travelled with Emerald twice before & really enjoyed the holidays. This cruise was of similar standard however there were a few minor problems. The ... Read More
Wanted to see something of the South of France & sample some of the wines. We have travelled with Emerald twice before & really enjoyed the holidays. This cruise was of similar standard however there were a few minor problems. The cabins were smaller than The Emerald Sky - lacking in storage space. When the weather was really hot & we wanted the swimming pool roof open non of the staff knew how to operate the roof so it remained closed. The food in the evenings was OK - the meat was on the whole was tough & I was unable to eat it at times, the restaurant staff never noticed that I was not eating until dinner was over so I was unable to have another meal. One of our party is Gluten Free therefore unable to drink beer/lager, as we had had a problem with getting cider on the Emerald Skye I contacted Emerald before our holiday & was told they would inform Liberte staff however the bar staff did not understand cider & insisted on serving it in a small wine glass even though we were paying for a full 330mls, they were obviously keeping what was left in the bottle for the next drink which consequently was flat & undrinkable. We enjoyed the excursions, saw some amazing places, the guides were excellent. The staff on the whole were enthusiastic & friendly & accommodating. It was a shame that most of the sailing was at night so we were unable to sit on the sun deck & watch the world go by & see the sights unlike the Rhine cruise. The ship was clean, the cabin staff efficient. One the whole we had a lovely week and would sail with Emerald again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have just returned from our holiday to the Netherlands, France, Belgium and Guernsey on board Azura. This was our very first cruise as a family and we were very much looking forward to the whole experience. However we were sorely ... Read More
We have just returned from our holiday to the Netherlands, France, Belgium and Guernsey on board Azura. This was our very first cruise as a family and we were very much looking forward to the whole experience. However we were sorely disappointed with issues we experienced onboard the Ship. Our shower room floor leaked for three days of the cruise causing a pool of water to the bathroom floor this was only rectified on the third day of the holiday following several calls and a visit to reception. The corridor of our cabin location on deck five often smelled strongly of fumes , if not fumes it was fresh paint or sewage. There was a lot of maintenance being carried out on this corridor during the holiday and a dehumidifier was left on all day and evening outside our cabin causing a lot of noise which i had to contact reception regarding as we were not able to sleep due to this. I understand that this is a working ship and requires maintenance however there seemed to be ongoing issues regarding the sewage systems onboard the ship, during our holiday, we encountered blocked toilets throughout the public areas and a strong smell of sewage was present to the public areas on deck seven especially to the malabar lounge which was noticeable throughout the week both when in port and sailing. The roof to the buffet restaurant was leaking badly all week causing saturation to the carpets in the dining area towards the back of the ship, water was running down the wall and through the ceiling as we were eating. The carpet was absolutely soaked and therefore caused a bad small of damp to a large area of the buffet restaurant which was very unpleasant and we reported to reception staff, they were already aware of the issue. Entertainment on board the ship was dire !!! The Irish so called comedian was awful i believe his name to be Shaun Heggaty, people walked out in droves complaining - Music acts on board pretty unoffensive but nothing really magical. The quiz's and so called entertainment in brodies bar was poor - there does not appear to be much effort put into this by the entertainment staff , The quiz host Pearl was quite rude and condescending to fellow passengers. Azura as a ship was very disappointing she seems shabby, tired and in need of some TLC - we understand she is a working vessel however we left feeling very disappointed in her current state and our first experience of cruising. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose the Fjords again as we cruised there last year in late July. This time, we wanted to see the snow on the mountains and we were not disappointed. Our check in was very quick due to using the online check in service a few days ... Read More
We chose the Fjords again as we cruised there last year in late July. This time, we wanted to see the snow on the mountains and we were not disappointed. Our check in was very quick due to using the online check in service a few days before we left. Once on board, we located our cabin on deck nine. We opted for an inside cabin this time. It was clean and cozy, the mattress and pillows were very comfortable and we slept really well. The only down side was the air conditioning. Every morning, we both woke up with very dry throats, not down to alcohol I can assure you. Also, my wife's asthma was really bad in the mornings. Our cabin steward was always smiling, very polite and helpful. We opted for freedom dining and ate mostly in the buffet on deck 16. It was good to see the staff were much more proactive in ensuring that passengers made use of the hand sanitising facilities before entering the dining venues. This was sadly lacking last summer and there was an outbreak of norovirus towards the end of the cruise. Overall, the food was good and the menus were varied. We also ate in the peninsular restaurant as well, again, no complaints. We chose this time around to make our own arrangements with excursions as the P and O excursions are ridiculously expensive. The best thing about the ports we visited, you did not have to go far to see stunning scenery or find gift shops though eating or drinking out in Norway is extremely expensive. After last year, we didn't bother with the entertainment as it was not to our taste. I think that the amount of money P and O are pulling in, they could get far better guest acts on board instead of has beens. The service we received on board was very good, I must pay tribute to the bar staff on the sun deck who had to endure very cold conditions whilst wearing nothing else apart from their thin uniforms. They still kept smiling whilst they served us. However, the photography department was like something off Fawlty towers. We ordered some photos from the gala night which they managed to lose twice, this after waiting for an hour in the queue. We did complain to reception and finally got our photos delivered to our cabin. I must add, we did get some four for the price of two as compensation. We discovered that others had encountered problems also. Disembarkation went smoothly, no problems at all. Even our coach got away on time. Would we go with P and O again?. Yes, having cruised a few times with them now, we are getting wise to all these little extras that are supposibly good value, and this includes the on board shops who claim that goods cannot be purchased ashore cheaper, when in reality, they can. But overall, yes, a pleasant relaxing time, very satisfactory Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We booked a family cruise, 4 adults and an 18 month old, we had two superior balcony cabins of which we could not fault. Our cabin man Romel was amazing, as was the lady that did my son’s cabin. The car drop off and embarkation was easy ... Read More
We booked a family cruise, 4 adults and an 18 month old, we had two superior balcony cabins of which we could not fault. Our cabin man Romel was amazing, as was the lady that did my son’s cabin. The car drop off and embarkation was easy and very quick, the cases were outside our cabins when we reached them. Sadly getting around the ship was incredibly difficult with a buggy as the lifts were constantly full due to there being no stairs in the middle of the ship, why? How much easier would life on board be for everyone if it had been possible to move easily around it. Lifts would have been freed up by able bodied people walking places. Bad design definitely. The Horizon buffet was hit and miss, not the best food I have encountered on a ship, breakfast was the best, afternoon tea was served from 3 to 5, followed by children’s tea at 5, this caused lots of confusion, surely they could have a section for children at all meals, common sense really. We had freedom dining, avoid the Peninsula restaurant, they do not like people going in there, the staff are rude and very unhelpful. However the Meridian restaurant was lovely, the staff were great, cheerful and very helpful. Avoid the Beach House, set in a corner of Horizon, next to the empty buffet stands, food mediocre, Meridian miles better and no extra charge, service charge, discreetly hidden, 7.50 per person. Staff on the rexception of the ship were equally unhelpful, as was the IT lady, wi if a disaster and very expensive. Choosing not to do excursions we did our own thing, coming back on staff were helpful and attentive, letting parents with babies and small children get priority, I also witnessed them be very kind to the ‘older’ people letting them effectively jump the queue. All in all there were some very good points but also some very poor bits. Bingo and quizzes in a very small bar next to the casino, a big noise issue, the timing of lots of things for 530, not a lot of good to parents with children who were eating tea at 5. Also it meant you had to make a choice of what you missed. Not sure about the Headliners, I am tone deaf, genuinely thought they were too! Gervaise Flynn talk was amazing, loved it. To sum up I would not go on the Brittania again, it lacked atmosphere, interest and at times appeared like an old people’s home, just look in the crows nest on a sea day!!!!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have become P & O fans, we like the style of cruising, the mix of formal nights of which there were two, the freedom dining, the choice of menu food, the staff, and great entertainment. We did three organised trips, The best of ... Read More
We have become P & O fans, we like the style of cruising, the mix of formal nights of which there were two, the freedom dining, the choice of menu food, the staff, and great entertainment. We did three organised trips, The best of Amsterdam, Ghent on your own, Saire Valley. The guide on the Best of Amsterdam Robert was the best guide we have ever had which made the trip extraordinarily good. Ghent on our own was very poor with just two hours in Ghent.The Saire Valley trip was ok but again too short. We had two comedians on board the first one Mr Heggarty from Ireland was without doubt the worst comedian we have ever endured, the second comedian Tucker was probably the best comedian we have ever heard. The Headliners were brilliant singers and entertainers. The duo in the planet bar were also very good. Our steward, Irenia kept our cabin spotless and replenished and the only thing about our inside cabin to moan about was the carpet could do with a clean. We dined in the Epicurean menu 2 and thought that the extra cover charge was worthwhile. The service was fantastic. We had all our other meals in the Meridian restaurant where the staff were outstanding and the food including steaks served to perfection. The tender service to St Peter Port Guernsey was pretty painful. We did not take an organised trip but instead took a public transport bus around the Island for just £5 each. I read other reviews before our first trip on Azura and agree with the good reviews, this Ship is the Ship for a very enjoyable cruise Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our first river cruise after 15+ ocean cruises, primarily on Celebrity, Seabourn, and Oceania. Overall a great cruise, so much in fact we are planning to do another river cruise on AMA next year. Positives: All ... Read More
This was our first river cruise after 15+ ocean cruises, primarily on Celebrity, Seabourn, and Oceania. Overall a great cruise, so much in fact we are planning to do another river cruise on AMA next year. Positives: All inclusive (except gratuities) no crowds/lines on board - about 150 passengers. Easy on and off every time. very good food (we are food lovers!) Beef not as good as fish, however (Europe not known for their beef). Great deserts, baked goods, fresh fruit, plenty of choices. The meal at Chef's table was fantastic. Tours were groups of 10-15 and the guides were very good. The scenery was spectacular and The ship is beautiful and in great shape. The service was a high point - just outstanding. No real negatives to mention. There are some differences between ocean and river cruising (none which I consider negative, just different), but we enjoyed the cruise tremendously - can't wait to do it again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise due to the interesting itinerary, as it was visiting a number of ports that were new to us. We had been on Aurora just 4 weeks before (see other review) so were interested to see the improvements. The ship did look ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to the interesting itinerary, as it was visiting a number of ports that were new to us. We had been on Aurora just 4 weeks before (see other review) so were interested to see the improvements. The ship did look refreshed but as regular cruisers on Aurora (7 times in 2 years) we had been really looking forward to the new large screen TV's so were deeply disappointed to find that all balcony cabins and above had received them, except the 8 accessible ones (of which we had one). Very poor show P&O, made worse by the fact that our questions on board as to why this was the case were ignored - 3 times. Aside from that, we enjoyed the cruise with, as always, some highs and lows (others will no doubt feel differently but these are just our opinions); Good points - The service in the Medina Restaurant (Freedom Dining) was first class. Food was very good. We did the Chef's Table private dining at £75 a head and it was the best thing we have done on a P&O ship for years and in the company of lovely fellow passengers who are prepared to fork out for top quality. Absolutely superb in every respect. Great initiative P&O - please repeat it. Tony Babb (guest lecturer) gave some fascinating talks. The Headliners show called Applause was superb. The new show 'Astonishing' previewed on Aurora during our cruise. It didn't live up to the hype, but was a welcome break from the usual dated offerings. Best two ports for us were Oporto and Ceuta, the latter being the unexpected highlight (it's a Spanish enclave cut out of Northern Morocco). What a fantastic place. P&O should go there far more often instead of the dump that is Gibraltar (the two are opposite sides of the Straits of Gibraltar). La Coruna, Lisbon and Alicante were all very nice, but only the last of them was new to us. Sorrento is lovely but was a tender port (my wife cannot get off at those as she is disabled) and it took a long time to get off the ship, even though I was booked on a tour. I did a trip to Herculaneum and unfortunately it rained all the time we were there. Our port call to Propriano (Corsica) was cancelled due to rough seas and replaced with Ajaccio. Although we hadn't been to the former but had been to the latter (12 years ago) we were delighted with this change, as my wife would have been stuck on the ship in Propriano but could get off in Ajaccio, which is lovely. Bad Points - As I have said, we were irritated with the fact that our accessible balcony cabin hadn't received the new large TV's that all other balcony cabins (and above) had benefited from in the refit and even more irritated that our complaint about this was ignored, even when I chased them several times. Whilst most people liked Malta, we were underwhelmed. We did a tour around the island and thought that the place looked terribly neglected. Yes it got savaged in the 2nd World War, but we are 70 years on from that now and were struck by the fact that all the private houses were in a poor state of repair (we were told afterwards it's due to their tax structure - you save money if you don't complete it fully!), all the roadsides have stone walls that are either badly built, incomplete or falling down and their 'countryside' looks more like wasteland. Valletta itself was much better, but it took us 45 minutes from being dropped off from the tour coach until we got back on the ship for lunch due to the very poor cruise terminal (just two security lines and massive queues) so we aborted our plan to see more of Valletta in the afternoon as we just couldn't face that queue to get back on again. Messina was the other disappointment. We should have taken a tour here but stayed in the town. This was a mistake. Very little to see and a nightmare to get around with a wheelchair. We were also plagued there by taxi drivers and dotto trian ticket touts, as well as street hawkers. The guest lecturers for the first half of the cruise were of no interest to us whatsoever (one was about football and the other Anne Frank which then morphed into talks on food. Very odd.) Actor Robert Daws was on board for the second half but was put in the Playhouse or Carmen's which had inadequate capacity for the numbers wanting to attend. He was very good but we only managed to see one of his three talks (which had been reduced from four) and the promised repeats of the 2nd and 3rd talks on the cabin TV never materialised. Other things - We had high drama in Civitavecchia . Just after the morning tours left the ship was blown very slightly off the berth by 70 knot winds. For the rest of the day we had to be pinned against the berth by three large tugs and nobody was allowed on or off the ship for 5 hours. As a result we didn't get to look around the town, but spent the day watching the most spectacular seas crashing over the breakwater and damaging a parked car, all from the comfort of the ship, whilst 500 passengers had to wait in the cruise terminal for hours until it was deemed safe to let them back on. The Captain (I won't name him) was a marmite character. We liked him and found his regular announcements interesting and amusing. A number of other passengers found him to be extremely irritating. There was a very good classical pianist and we enjoyed the Take That style group (Beautiful World) .The Runaround Kids were good, even if their humour is a bit infantile. The Adele tribute had a great voice but completely ruined her act when she spoke between songs. I think she was trying to impersonate Adele but it failed miserably. It was excruciating. Apart from the shows that I have mentioned that we liked, the rest of the 'entertainment' was the usual P&O 1970's style TV variety show / holiday camp fodder (which was great in the 1970's but woefully outdated now). Not for us I'm afraid. Fellow passengers were almost all lovely. I'd say that the average age of passengers was early 70's (as is usual on Aurora). Overall an enjoyable cruise with some real high points and a few niggles, but that's a balanced review of the cruise as we found it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We have never been on a river cruise and decided after more than 20 ocean cruises we would try one. The Crystal line received excellent reviews and we had previously sailed on the Symphony. We read about the stacking of boats at the piers ... Read More
We have never been on a river cruise and decided after more than 20 ocean cruises we would try one. The Crystal line received excellent reviews and we had previously sailed on the Symphony. We read about the stacking of boats at the piers and having no view many times, also the problems with water levels and diversions and were ready for those eventualities. First the boat was very nice well appointed and very clean. The food during the entire trip was excellent and our butler service was impeccable. The room (S2 suite) was very nice and well laid out. The bathroom was quite large for a river boat. The inconvenience of having to cross one or two other boats was as expected however, many times we had to climb up to the top deck to cross and back down again on the boats. The excursions should have been presented with the caveat “ if you are unable to walk more than a mile without stopping you should not go on the tour”. The excursions offered did not make any accommodations for older persons who may be able to walk a half mile with no problems but limited stamina for much longer walking without a rest. One excursion in Strasbourg required a 1.5 mile walk each way to and from the bus, plus whatever site seeing you did in the central city. The tours all required you to wear an audio listening device with ear piece to hear the tour guide. No accommodation for hearing aid wearing guests were made (two earphones can’t simultaneously occupy the same ear canal) and when asked about it appeared that they had never been asked the question before. I eventually just took them off and went without since taking only one side out caused problems with the hearing aid’s smart functions. I understand the limitations of river cruising as compared to Ocean voyages and they were probably greater than I had anticipated, however, the one unforgivable flaw was poor service in the dinning room. This is not a river cruising problem but a basic systemic problem with the cruise. First, the use of buffets for all lunches and breakfasts does not portray a five star experience more a 3 star budget line. On all but the cheapest ocean cruises there is always the option of being served table-side. In addition, the selection on the buffets was quite limited compared with ocean cruising equivalents. When I did not like the mains offered for lunch one day I made a request for a simple roast beef sandwich which was met with hesitation and reluctance by the staff telling me they would have to check with the chef to see what was available and intimating it could take some time. The dinner food was excellent but the wait staff seemed to be hurried all the time. We did not have an assigned waiter. Any waiter would serve us but more often than not, we had to flag down a waiter help us. Waiters did not seem to listen or wait long enough to let your needs be known. For instance I drink ice tea frequently I would get the ice tea but no sugar bowl to sweeten the tea. I would have to get a waiters attention to bring it to me. Then I made an effort to tell the waiters to bring sugar but many times, they were in such a hurry they would be gone before I could get the words out. Many other small inconsistencies were noted each night. For example I was ordered a dish with a bratwurst and did not receive any mustard I asked the waiter to get me some and I am still waiting for it. I could go on but each incident in and of itself seems to be trivial but taken as a whole showed a serious lack attention to service. I have never experienced in the 20 plus ocean cruises we have been on from mass marketed cruises (RCL) to high end (Regent, Cunard Grill suites) Having traveled on a Crystal ocean cruise before I know this is not typical of this cruise line. This is there third season on the rivers and being early in the season maybe we were just unlucky to get a dining room crew that has not worked it out yet. I must say, at this point, I would not recommend Crystal river cruises for those who have any mobility problems or want elegant unhurried service. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
My wife and I chose this particular cruise because of the Keukenhof Garden tour. We joined the ship seamlessly from Schipol Airport, our transfer was waiting for us, very little waiting at all as everyone was together, from the ... Read More
My wife and I chose this particular cruise because of the Keukenhof Garden tour. We joined the ship seamlessly from Schipol Airport, our transfer was waiting for us, very little waiting at all as everyone was together, from the Manchester flight. We were greeted on board by Robert the Hotel manager aboard "Emerald Sky" (who remembered us from the Danube Cruise we did 2 years ago aboard "Emerald Sun") and Nina the cruise director. Check-in was quick and easy, and we settled quickly into our very well appointed cabin aboard "Emerald Sky" closely followed by our bags ready to unpack. The Balcony cabins are well appointed with a good amount of storage. the shower room is perfectly set out with storage for toiletries behind the mirrors. A very comfortable bed, with storage for empty luggage underneath. Ample sockets for charging 2 European sockets and a UK one (we carry extra adaptors for these for charging phones etc) It was our 4th time travelling with Emerald and the lounge well appointed and very attentive staff. The restaurant was well set out as we remembered from last year aboard the "Sky" and the food excellent as usual. The entertainment was varied with music trivia quizzes ( great fun as we won 2 of them and also shared a prize with a couple who beat us in a tie break, who shared the small bottle of Port with us) we had a bit of live enetertainment as Julia the enetertainment manager also regaled us with a few songs one evening and there were a couple of classical musicians and a guitarist on other evenings. we tried our hand at clog painting one afternoon (a different experience for a very un-artistic person such as I hahaha) they will brighten up our greenhouse now we are back home. The included tours were well organised and went perfectly. The trip to Zanse Schans Windmill park was good fun. Must admit we particularly enjoyed the trip to the Delta Works at Veere (Flood Defences) which were very interesting. A good day had in Delft (this was an extra tour we paid for from our cabin spending allowance) Antwerp was interesting as the "Marathon" was taking part, and our guide took us through the red light district (an eye opener in a lot of the senses of the word). Arnhem and the museum of the "Operation Market Garden" battle towards the end of WW2 was very moving. But the definite highlight was our last day at the Keukenhof Gardens. We were very pleased to find out that one of the 4 coaches was staying on for an extra 2 hours so we could extend our time looking around. Nina the Cruise director had arranged to do this after the 1st cruise as one or two had said a little longer would have been better.... We actually found we still had about 30 euros left on our cabin spend allowance when we went to check out so my Wife was given a rather nice "Swarovski Pen" by the reception manager (a nice touch to end our week aboard the "Sky" Yes we have had yet another great trip with Emerald met some very friendly folk from Canada, The USA, back home (and even a couple from Hong Kong....) Special mentions for Nina (Cruise Director) Julia (Entertainments Director) Robert (the Hotel Manager) Marko (The Head Chef) and Restaurant and Bar staff.and all the cabin staff (especially Ile, who was our cabin steward who looked after us perfectly) Thank-you Emerald Waterways once again for a fantastic trip. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We love the Moselle and the lovely towns on its shores. That part did not disappoint. This was a new cruise, and we were the first group to take it. This was our fourth cruise with Uniworld, and we have always loved the elegance of ... Read More
We love the Moselle and the lovely towns on its shores. That part did not disappoint. This was a new cruise, and we were the first group to take it. This was our fourth cruise with Uniworld, and we have always loved the elegance of their product. Here’s what was disappointing: 1. no pianist on board - have always loved the sophisticated atmosphere in the lounge with a pianist taking requests. No pianist. Bummer. 2. Food was not as wonderful as usual...twice I ordered steak from the alternate menu...both times lots of gristle and tough. No ice cream offered as alternate dessert. No apple strudel or sauerbraten although we were in Germany...bummer. 3. There were 3 evening shows. One was classical string music and it was terrific, but the other two played oldies and pop music. Uniworld has always been great about affecting cultural programs in the evenings (folk music, etc), but we didn’t get any. We didn’t book a German cruise to hear YMCA and ABBA in the evening.very disappointing. Ocean cruises play that pop crap...Uniworld is better than that. 4. The Uniworld catalogue in its description of this cruise listed a lot of cultural excursion offerings, NONE of which ended up being offered. 5. Too much time in big cities...Frankfurt, Mainz, Bonn, Cologne, which could have been spent in the Riesling towns on the Moselle All this being said, the service was FANTASTIC. Read Less

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